Report on the use of the John Guest Philips Travelling Scholarship

Diganta Bhusan Das

Chemical Engineering Department, Loughborough University

Wisconsin pollution management site. I used the ‘John Guest Philips Travelling Scholarship’ for attending the ‘5th International Conference on Diffuse/Non-point Source Pollution and Watershed Management’, held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA during June 10-15, 2001. The conference was a part of the International Water Association (IWA) – the largest international environmental professional association in the world – and it was organised by its specialist group on diffuse pollution. I presented a paper on modelling for contaminants flow through combined free and porous zones in the subsurface which was very well received by the audience. I also attended a day-long workshop on ‘Geographical information systems in diffuse pollution abatement and watershed management - GIS practicum’, held concurrently with the conference. This gave an important opportunity for me to learn the processes and methodologies involved in water quality based watershed management and the use of the most modern technological aspects of geographical information systems. Further, during the conference, I took part in a field trip to Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois (‘Jones Island Wastewater Treatment Plant and Deep Tunnel Operation, Milwaukee’ and ‘Urban and Agricultural Best Management Practices and Historic Cedarburg, Wisconsin’) as many advanced and pioneering solutions to the diffuse pollution problems are located there. The photograph shows a site in Wisconsin where efforts are being made to manage storm water and soil erosion with the help of artificial vegetation.With many other themes on diffuse pollution problems, the conference discussed and shared information on the recent research advances made in the understanding of the process interactions that take place at the groundwater and surfacewater zones. Methods for monitoring and estimating diffuse pollution and its impacts; the processes linking sources and receiving bodies; ground and surface water exchange and, source water protection for best management practices for groundwater are just some of the issues that were focussed upon in the conference. The conference also pointed out the difficulties of the past and possible solutions for the new century. It, therefore, provided important insights into how the present technical information relates to the groundwater hydrology and the natural environment.

Secretary to Prizes Committee
October 2001
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